The economics of sustainability in the context of climate change: An overview
The emerging field of sustainable business has its roots in both science and economics--in particular the fields of environmental science and the economics of sustainability. This article provides an overview to the latter field with application to environmental damage due to climate change. The aim is to provide an economic context for the papers in this special issue. The article outlines four essential elements in what has become a vast literature in the economics of sustainability in the context of climate change. First is the dilemma in valuing the distant future which concerns the vexed issue of discounting outcomes that are expected to occur over a very long time horizon. The second is the related characteristics of uncertainty and irreversibility that create an option value in taking action. The third element is the peculiarities of natural capital (arising from the natural environment) compared with reproducible capital (things we make that are used to produce goods and services). The post-neoclassical notions of social capital and knowledge capital are also briefly mentioned. The fourth element is how to manage the global "commons", the prime example of which is the climate. This article is written for the general business reader with an understanding of basic economic concepts and therefore avoids mathematics. References to more technical treatments are provided.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 45 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620401/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620401/bibliographic|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Graciela Chichilnisky & Geoffrey Heal, 1993.
"Who Should Abate Carbon Emissions? An International Viewpoint,"
NBER Working Papers
4425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey, 1994. "Who should abate carbon emissions? : An international viewpoint," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 443-449, April.
- Stavins, Robert & Wagner, Alexander & Wagner, Gernot, 2002.
"Interpreting Sustainability in Economic Terms: Dynamic Efficiency Plus Intergenerational Equity,"
dp-02-29, Resources For the Future.
- Stavins, Robert N. & Wagner, Alexander F. & Wagner, Gernot, 2003. "Interpreting sustainability in economic terms: dynamic efficiency plus intergenerational equity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 339-343, June.
- Stavins, Robert & Wagner, Alexander & Wagner, Gernot, 2002. "Interpreting Sustainability in Economic Terms: Dynamic Efficiency Plus Intergenerational Equity," Working Paper Series rwp02-018, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2000.
"The Social Discount Rate,"
NBER Working Papers
7983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "The social discount rate," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 137, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Graciela Chichilnisky, 1997. "What Is Sustainable Development?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 467-491.
- Richard T. Woodward & Richard C. Bishop, 1997. "How to Decide When Experts Disagree: Uncertainty-Based Choice Rules in Environmental Policy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 492-507.
- Padilla, Emilio, 2002. "Intergenerational equity and sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 69-83, April.
- Heal, G., 1998. "Valuing the Future: Economic Theory and Sustainability," Papers 98-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
- Solow, Robert, 1993. "An almost practical step toward sustainability," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 162-172, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:45:y:2010:i:4:p:326-335. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.